Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Thursday, July 23, 2015
You know how fashion magazines are obssessed with the "French girl"? (The Parisian fashionista who wears all black and whose kisses smell like cigarettes and expensive perfume?) I have the same fixation with California girls (not like the Katy Perry song!) I love the laid-back, easy-breezy image of the Cali life. No shirt necessary, just a loose, shimmery slip dress and jewels that will catch the glint of the summer sun. Also, I want to indulge in the green-smoothie grind of Cali girl life, indulge in some overpriced ice cream, and consume all the sushi-burritos I can fit into my mouth. But I know that just like the "French girl," the "California girl" I have painted in my mind probably doesn't exist. However, if she did, I imagine she would rock this outfit all year-round.
If you like the overlay effect on my dress, this sheer Forever 21 dress has the same idea. Also, if you want an even fancier version of my dress, this Forever 21 slip dress has fringe on the hem!
Bralette: Forever21, similar black one from F21 or blue one from Charlotte Russe ($10.99)
Necklaces: Marble choker || "Hamsa" hand necklace ($4.00) || long chain necklace
Ring: Infinity ring from Target
Bracelet: splurge || save
Purse: Forever 21. Only red, black tan, and white available
Shoes: Zara, similar here from Macy's
Sunglasses: Forever 21
Lips and cheeks: YSL 'Pink Hedoniste'
Monday, July 20, 2015
My parents live in a little rural town near the sea, in the middle of nowhere. If I'm lucky enough to make the drive at twilight, it is seriously a magical experience. The setting sun will light the amber fields on fire, and every passing lake seems like a portal to another sky, somewhere beneath the water's surface. As I'm passing through towns so small that their main street has a "feed store"---where the locals can be found outside a movie theater with flickering lights or the BBQ shop near the farm road with the windmill for a sign---I always play some Lana del Rey music so that I can relish in the nostalgia for as long as possible. Sometimes the feeling overwhelms me, and I have to get out near a broken-down gas station to take some pictures as the last of the light fades, because I'm scared I'll never see a world as beautifully and clearly as I do in that golden hour.
JCP (on sale for $28.99)
Top: Forever 21 ($14.90)
Shorts: Forever 21 ($22.90)
'Hamsa' Necklace: Love Culture, similar from Nordstrom Rack ($21.97)
Shoes: Forever 21 ($29.90)
Thursday, July 16, 2015
The name of my lipstick ("Rose in Tension") couldn't describe my current mood any better. I have moved on from my law firm internship and I am now volunteering for a non-profit that specializes in defending death row inmates. Even though our office uses the euphemism "capital work," there are ugly moments when I have to confront the fact that the names on the spreadsheet in front of me are people sentenced to die. I might get to visit some of our clients soon, and it's chilling to think of the isolation they experience in prison, the severity of their mental health issues that will never be addressed, and also the crime for which they are being punished. How will I balance the noble cause of public defense against the fact that these clients may have committed awful atrocities? That's the true tension.Anthropologie
Lips: YSL 'Rose In Tension'
Dress: TJ Maxx, similar marble-print dress here from Forever21
Necklace: Forever 21
Shoes: Zara, (almost sold out, but here is a similar tan version from Topshop)
Purse: Marshall's, similar here from Amazon
Tuesday, July 14, 2015
When Cupcakes and Cashmere blogger Emily Schuman announced that she was releasing a clothing line, I knew I had to go check it out. Designing a clothing line is the ultimate achievement for any fashion blogger, and Emily's designs are already selling out at retailers like Nordstrom and Shopbop.
I decided to stop by my local Nordstrom and "grade" her clothing designs to see if Emily's collaboration is worth the price tag. Since most of the pieces seem to retail for >$50, I wanted to make sure that I would be investing in quality clothes, not just a brand name.
The first piece I picked up was this "Pacific" stripe dress with an asymmetric detail down the side. Black and white stripe dresses are hard to mess up, and I thought this would be a worthy investment, even if the price clocked in at above $100.
What I liked: I loved the feel and weight of Emily's "Pacific" dress: the cloth is nice and thick, reminiscent of Banana Republic dresses. The length is not too short and still youthful.
What I disliked: The cut of the dress was puzzling. It was too broad up top (my chest area was loose) but the bottom skirt part was too tight (see the rightmost picture). At $110 a pop, I'd only recommend this dress for broad-shouldered yet skinny-hipped women.
The Cupcakes and Cashmere "Santa Ana" skirt (excuse the typo in the graphic) instantly caught my eye on the rack. I could see myself getting a lot of mileage out of the skirt's bright, punchy color and accordion pleats.
What I liked: The dress isn't too sheer, and the material feels lovely sashaying around your legs.
What I didn't like: Do you see how ragged that hem is? Before you accuse me of wearing the skirt lopsided, I had the tag in the back and the elastic waistband was sitting evenly on my hips. I had to give this skirt a C+ overall score because the asymmetric hem indicated that this garment had not been quality-checked, and there was no way I was going to pay $115 for a badly-sewn skirt.
The "Presidio" jacket and the "Laurel" dress were made to be worn together, as the ads for the Cupcakes and Cashmere clothing line demonstrated. However, I didn't feel the Cupcakes and Cashmere magic when I tried either of them on.
What I disliked: Notice I didn't say anything about the dress yet. That's because I couldn't find much to like. The fit was all right, for a drop-waist dress. The material though, was a whole 'nother story. Imagine the thin polyester you get at Forever21 or H&M. Now imagine something even thinner. This dress was see-through, even with the slip---a sure sign of bad quality.
And don't let me get started on the slip. This slip was garbage, by which I mean that this slip is one of those plastic slips that you discard as soon as you get home, in order to wear a real slip with your new dress. As tacky as the 80's---and the dress would cost me $110! No thanks!
"Huntington" button back floral blouse. At $85, it wasn't cheap, but it also cost less than the plastic slip-dress from hell.
What I liked: The pattern is pretty, and the fit is suitably boxy. The buttons all the way up the back of the shirt were a lovely detail.
What I disliked: I have seen this exact top at H&M before, I swear. Boxy tops are a dime-a-dozen, and the thin polyester of this top didn't deserve my weekly allowance.